I’m excited to share that we’re back with another ESO skills overview based on the playable build of the game that was showcased at the recent PAX Prime and will be on display next week at London’s Eurogamer Expo. This time around, we’re digging into the Dragonknight class; a magical warrior that draws strength from fire and draconic inspired abilities. Once again, it’s exciting to have these skills out in the public domain, and I hope that this will help facilitate discussion and get you all excited about build possibilities using the Dragonknight base class. Please note that exact damage numbers and ability modifiers have not been listed, as these values are still actively being tweaked in response to ongoing feedback.
The first skill line for the Dragonknight is called Ardent Flame. This skill line is flame-centric, focusing on fiery attacks and debuffs. The most offensive of the three lines, players that use multiple abilities from the Ardent Flame tree will be more offensively capable, at the expensive of some versatility and defensive tools.
- [Ultimate] Dragonknight Standard – Plant a standard dealing damage to all nearby enemies and reducing the incoming healing they receive. This also initiates the Shackle synergy.
- [Active] Fiery Reach – Pull an enemy towards you with a fiery chain, dealing damage.
- [Active] Searing Strike – Burns the target, dealing damage over time.
- [Active] Fiery Breath – Deal fire damage to all enemies in front of you, igniting them for additional damage over time.
- [Active] Lava Whip – Deal fire damage and causes enemies to become off-balance if used on an immobilized or stunned foe.
- [Active] Inferno – This toggle-able aura deals periodic damage to all nearby enemies while slowly draining the Dragonknight’s Magicka. The damage dealt and Magicka cost increase the longer the aura is active.
- [Passive] Kindling – Increases the damage of burning effects applied by fire abilities.
- [Passive] Warmth – Dealing Fire damage applies a snare to enemies.
- [Passive] Searing Heat – Increases the duration of abilities in the Ardent Flame tree which apply burning.
- [Passive] World in Flame – Increases the damage of fire-based AoE abilities.
This is a tactically interesting skill line. There’s a lot of synergy here to exploit. I anticipate that in the Ebonheart Pact we’ll be seeing a lot of Dunmer Dragonknights who are seeking to exploit the dark elves’ racial bonus to fire damage. The passives in the Ardent Flame tree will also synergize nicely with the Meteor ultimate in the Mages Guild which calls a fiery explosion from the sky down on your target. This makes for an interesting alternative to Dragonknight Standard, although to be fair, this will be a very difficult ability to displace from the player’s hotbar in PvP contexts. The AoE healing debuff which it applies will be absolutely crucial in group PvP encounters, so much so that every PvP group will likely require a DK to have this ability slotted.
The Dragonknight’s second skill line, Draconic Power, is a more defensive variant, geared towards turning the Dragonknight into a formidable defensive force, whether for tanking in PvE or controlling the battlefield in AvA.
- [Ultimate] Dragon Leap – Leap forward on magical wings, dealing AoE damage upon landing, knocking nearby foes backwards.
- [Active] Spike Armor – Increases your damage resistance and returns damage to melee attackers.
- [Active] Dark Talons – Root all nearby enemies, dealing additional damage to any enemies not already affected by talons.
- [Active] Dragon Blood – Immediately heals the player and applies a medium-duration heal-over-time.
- [Active] Reflective Scales – Reflects incoming projectiles for a short period of time.
- [Active] Inhale – Absorbs health from every nearby enemy, then returns damage to affected foes depending on the total amount of health absorbed.
- [Passive] Iron Skin – Increase the amount of damage you are able to block.
- [Passive] Burning Heart – Increase healing received for each dragon ability on your bar.
- [Passive] Elder Dragon – Increased passive health regeneration for each dragon ability on your bar.
- [Passive] Scaled Armor – Increases your innate resistance to enemy spells.
The abilities in this tree complement each other with a mix of control, mitigation, and self-healing. I think Argonian will be a very natural choice for defensive Dragonknights, coupling innate racial healing bonuses with the self-healing multipliers in this tree’s passives. Depending on the magnitude of effect in the final ability, the tandem of Dragon Blood and Inhale could give a Dragonknight remarkable staying power. In many contexts, I could see abilities from this tree being fantastic choices for an alternate hotbar which players can switch to if a fight starts going against them to heal and bunker down against incoming damage.
The final Dragonknight skill line, Earthen Heart, offers tremendous group utility and control tools which will be hugely useful in both PvE and PvP.
- [Ultimate] Magma Armor – Limits incoming damage at a maximum percentage of your health per hit while dealing fire damage to all foes around you.
- [Active] Stonefist – Draws a chunk of rock from the ground, hurling it at an enemy to deal physical damage and knocks down the target.
- [Active] Molten Weapons – An AoE buff aura which increases the power of nearby allies, with double benefit applied to the Dragonknight.
- [Active] Obsidian Shield – Create a shield of rock shards around nearby allies, absorbing a percentage of incoming damage they take. The strength of the shield is doubled for the Dragonknight.
- [Active] Petrify – Applies a long duration stun to the target. The petrified enemy can take some damage while stunned, but sufficient damage will prematurely end the stun.
- [Active] Ash Cloud – Summon a swirling ash storm, snaring affected foes while increasing their chance to miss. Initiates the Ash Shroud synergy.
- [Passive] Eternal Mountain – Increase the duration of Earthen Heart abilities.
- [Passive] Deep Breaths – Activating an Ultimate ability restores resources to the Dragonknight based on the ultimate cost.
- [Passive] Mountain’s Blessing – Gain additional ultimate charge when activating an Earth ability.
- [Passive] Helping Hands – Gain Stamina whenever one of your earth abilities is applied to another player.
This line is essentially the “support” Dragonknight, featuring two party buffs which increase both the offensive and defensive capabilities of allies. These buffs will be great to slot on an alternate hotbar to use for pre-fight buffing with re-applications cast as necessary. The ultimate ability, Magma Armor, is arguably a better tanking ultimate than the Dragon Leap from the Draconic Power tree, and therefore will likely be very popular amongst tank DKs. The crowd control abilities of Stonefist, Petrify, and Ash Cloud could allow the Earth-specced Dragonknight to serve as a group’s primary CCer, reacting to remove dangerous enemies from the fight. In PvP, a lot of Dragonknights will want to slot Obsidian Shield simply to take advantage of the substantial Stamina heal which Helping Hands would provide when in large-group combat.
I hope this has given the community a useful start towards understanding the Dragonknight abilities in The Elder Scrolls Online, and I look forward to hearing the theorycrafting, discussion, and build ideas which will surround these skills. What stands out to you as the powerful combos in the Dragonknight trees? Which weapon and armor types do you think will synergize best with each tree? Think you will be playing a DK in ESO? Let us know why in the comment section below!